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Board Of Trade, &C

Volume 203: debated on Tuesday 9 August 1870

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Observations

, who had given Notice to call attention to the constitution and working of the Board of Trade and other Administrative Departments; and to move—

"That, in the opinion of this House, the great commercial and national objects which Parliament has entrusted to the Board of Trade, and others which lie equally within the Board's legitimate sphere, would be furthered if, as in earlier periods of its history, the President and Secretary had, in discharging the numerous, diversified, and yearly enlarging functions of that important Department, the assistance of weighty and experienced assessors, such as might be selected by Her Majesty on account of their acquaintance with the various industrial interests of the Empire, from within and outside of Parliament, to act together as a duly constituted deliberative Board,"
said, he was unfortunate in having to bring that question forward in the absence of the respected and valued head of the Department to which it related, and also at the late period of the Session at which they had arrived. He believed it would be uncongenial to the House if he were now to propose his Motion, and that he would not be doing justice to the subject if he attempted it, because the opinion of the commercial Members of Parliament could not now be obtained. At the same time he wished very briefly to indicate what the proposal was which he had intended to lay before the House. It was utterly impossible that the Board of Trade, as at present constituted, could discharge all the duties that pertained to it. His proposal was that the President and Secretary should have the assistance of weighty and experienced assessors, such as might be selected by Her Majesty on account of their acquaintance with the various industrial interests of the Empire. Members of Parliament and gentlemen outside Parliament would give their services gratuitously. He would have several committees in the Department of Trade. He was convinced that such a system should sooner or later be introduced in the Colonial Department and in the Department of the Post Office, as well as in that of the Board of Trade. Having briefly stated what was the object of the Motion of which he had given Notice, he bogged to say that he would not now move that Motion, but would postpone action in the matter till another Session.